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Written by Robbin
(5/15/2007 10:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, That may be, penned by Tracy W
Charlotte has no respect or esteem for Mr. Collins, she will be marrying him without love certainly but that does not automatically mean she is selfish. I was responding to the assertion that Charlotte is selfish—“thoughts on the matter in chapter 22 are solely concerned with her own benefits.” The sentiment I referred to as sanctioned by Charlotte’s society is her desire to make a prudent marriage with regards to finances, I said—“Charlotte wants fortune no more than any other lady should want it in order to have a secure future.” In Chapter 25 Aunt Gardiner sees Lizzy and Wickham’s preference as one without a future because of the financial imprudence of it and intends to speak to her niece on the subject before leaving Hertfordshire. I believe the idea that a couple should have enough income to live on before marrying was a sentiment sanctioned by society. Please know that I am not suggesting it was a sentiment always adhered to. Mr. Collins is an extremely eligible match for Charlotte but she is not breaking the bank in marrying him. She does not fit my idea of a fortune hunter because she is not seeking wealth for the sake of wealth. I do not equate a want of security to greediness and hence selfishness. I will continue to believe that Charlotte is not selfish. You may of course continue to disagree but there it is. ;D
I agree future children are a relevant consideration when choosing a marriage partner but what is your case? The morality aspect of marriage without love and the affect it has on the children from such a union are completely relevant issues in P&P but to me separate from the selfish issue. The future Collins marriage is not the only one of this nature so there is more to consider than just future Collins children; the Bennet marriage is also one without respect and esteem, at least on Mr. Bennet’s side and they have five children to consider. Mr. Bennet rattles Mrs. Bennet’s nerves unmercifully by refusing to visit Bingley solely for amusement at her reactions. She however thinks of it as a good joke in Chapter 2 after he finally admits to having done the deed. Mrs. Bennet does not understand her husband or that her marriage is faulty. I find Mr. Bennet’s treatment of his wife disrespectful and a little mean. I see no evidence that he cares for her feelings at all and neither seem particularly happy.
"I see what you are feeling," replied Charlotte; "you must be surprised, very much surprised -- so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it all over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connexions, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state." (Chapter 22)
Charlotte has considered Mr. Collins’ character and thinks he is stupid and a wretched companion to boot but believes she can be happy with him despite his faults because she does not think highly of men in general. The nearest examples of husbands she has is her father who’s preference for genteel living most likely stagnated the family fortune by giving up his business and Mr. Bennet who merely laughs at the foolishness of his wife and daughters. Charlotte is going into her marriage with her eyes open whereas Mr. Collins claims to have affection for his fiancé and is unaware she has manipulated his affections or understand her true opinion of him—he is as oblivious of these potential marriage killing conditions as is Mrs. Bennet of the flaws of her marriage. Charlotte has been kind to Mr. Collins so far but it will be interesting to see how she deals with her situation. Will she find that her irksome husband affects her more than she anticipates and degenerate into disrespectful Mr. Bennet-like behavior? ;D
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